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Poster: utopian Date: May 2, 2011 11:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: ...its .hogwash...not gnashing... were laughing at

its utter hogwash to think the process of creating musical art just stops. Did Monet, DaVinci, Rembrandt, Mozart, Clapton and many of the other great artists just stop creating anything worthwile? Hell NO.

If that is that your supposition? That at a certain point genious artists no longer are capable of brilliance or flashes of? Hogwash.....utter hogwash. Many true artists would consider that the definition of artistic ignorance.

The grateful dead were composed of some brilliant musicians. I would encourage you to dig a little deeper rather than write off 70% of the music that the dead brought us. These were not just good artists but genious level musicions that were constantly changing themes.

Yes, we hae seen the cut and paste job, referencing generally the same 'best of shows list' has been circulated for 20 years. We have seen that list many times, and we have heard the trolling 'era debate' to the ad nauseum boredom level.

Dig people Dig!
find the best Jack Straw from 79
find the best Crazy Fingers of 82
find the best Help slip frank of 83
find the best Stella blue of 84
find the best Memphis Blues of 89
find the best Althea of 90

'You see the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right'

peace

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 2, 2011 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: ...it's hogwash...not gnashing... we're laughing at

I think I hear the gnashing of teeth!


Actually, I don't really agree with your post.... Leaving aside the debatable issue of the longevity of genius (which I think is a more personal thing that can't be generalized among all 'great' artists), I think it's evident that the Dead's creative light sputtered and dimmed for many, many years.

Bkidwell didn't explain just why he feels the Dead's last 20 years doesn't measure up to the first 10, but he might have an interesting musical explanation for it - if it's the kind of thing that can be 'objectively' analyzed.

I'd most charitably call it a matter of taste - if we've seen the same 'cut & paste best-of-shows lists' for 20 years, there must be a bunch of people who really like these early shows, and really don't like the later ones as much. It can be hard to convert red-licorice lovers to black licorice! And there's no "reason" for it besides people's different tastes.

Personally I'd guess that as more new youngsters find the music, and as the generations of Dead fans with fond memories of watching the band grow old & wither away, forums like this will become even more biased towards the early Dead years.

To me, the later-era examples you cite already remind me of why I enjoy the earlier years more. A challenge to "find the best Wave to the Wind of 1992!" wouldn't really convince me that I'd enjoy '92 more than '72...

OK, unfair example! But, like embattled missionaries in heathen lands, fans of the later years are certainly free to post their own "best-of-the-last-20-years" lists - brilliant songs, shows, jams, whatnot - to try to guide those of us lingering in the primal-Dead darkness back to the light.

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Poster: William Tell Date: May 3, 2011 1:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: ...its .hogwash...not gnashing... were laughing at

Uh...no, it's not hogwash (the basic proposition). It's a fact. It's the whole basis for "early, in general, is better; productivity, in general, declines with age".

I won't rehash all the discussions of it here, but you can easily prove it for yourself, in most any field of interest.

Take life expectancy for the era (seriously; you have to factor it in if your area of interest is music of the 1700s or art of the same period); then, take five of your fav "greats" (arts, science, politics, whatever); next, divide their accepted "top five works" as to the first half or the second half of their life, using life expectancy as the midpt.

It's a slam dunk. It's been done for most all fields. Doesn't mean that folks don't go on to do productive things, even astoundingly so, but as a general rule, great ideas, great works of art, great military accomplishments, blah, blah, blah, pile up toward the first half of life expectancy, not the second. Oh, and big caveat: don't go with the obvious "date of appearance" for some item as often, eg, Darwin, the "work" was fully fleshed out 20 yrs prior to publication, etc., etc. (esp impt in science, but of course, not military, nor most art, etc).

We only resist it--the trend--because we are all getting old.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: May 3, 2011 1:31pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: ...its .hogwash...not gnashing... were laughing at

Buckminster Fuller?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 3, 2011 6:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: ...its .hogwash...not gnashing... were laughing at

Yeah, I didn't want to get into that discussion, but I can think of a whole lot of great writers & musicians who either stop producing good work, or at least struggle to match the quality of what they composed in the incandescence of youth.
Then again, there are others who keep doing great into old age...

Rock music is a field that favors young players in particular; the Dead are one of the few bands that stuck it out for 30 years (and of course most of them are STILL at it!).
But I think, simply in order to keep up the level of creativity they were at in the early years, they would have had to work much harder, since so many things piled up against them:
- uncritical audiences who lapped up everything
- a lack of good new material, especially since their best songwriter hated writing songs
- various members losing interest off & on, and a band culture that made it hard for anyone to 'push' the others
- repetitive set arrangements and a refusal to rehearse, which is the exploratory musician's worst curse
- stagnation in the music scene in general, compared to the explosion of new musical forms in the late '60s
That's aside from other issues (musical & physical) that Garcia in particular had, and the various compromises they all made which limited how far the music could go.

Brilliant musicians & frequently great players, sure - willing over time to keep up the hard work necessary to overcome these issues, not so much....